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THE UNKNOWN MATISSE, A LIFE OF HENRI MATISSE, VOLUME ONE: 1869-1908

SPURLING HILARY

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ISBN 10: 0241133408 / ISBN 13: 9780241133408
Published by Hamish Hamilton, 1998
Condition: bon Hardcover
From Le-Livre (SABLONS, France)

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About this Item

RO60066723: 480 pages. Illustré de nombreuses photos en noir et blanc et en couleur, dans et hors texte. Jaquette légèrement déchirée. The first true biography of Henri Matisse, and most of its contents will surprise even specialists. In-8 Relié. Bon état. Couv. convenable. Dos satisfaisant. Intérieur frais Classification Dewey : 420-Langue anglaise. Anglo-saxon. Bookseller Inventory # RO60066723

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE UNKNOWN MATISSE, A LIFE OF HENRI MATISSE...

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Couverture rigide

Book Condition:bon

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title

Synopsis:

This is the first full biography of Henri Matisse, and most of its contents will surprise even specialists. The few facts known until now about Matisse's life have been distorted by inaccuracy, misunderstanding and glaring gaps. Hilary Spurling's book investigates the secret life of the Fauve - or wild beast - whose paintings shocked and infuriated his contemporaries in the first years of the century. It tells the story of an innovative genius, born in war-torn, poverty-stricken Flanders- just the other side of the French frontier from Van Gogh's home - who overcame hardship and disaster to fulfil at last Van Gogh's prophecy: 'The painter of the future will be such a colourist as has never yet been.'

Review:

We know all about the lives of the two great titans of modern art, don't we? Picasso was the wild one and Matisse was the boring one. Wrong. Picasso was wild all right, but the Matisse that emerges from Hilary Spurling's magnificent new biography is nothing like the buttoned-up and self-regarding clerk of popular perception. This is a man who horrified his bourgeois family by becoming an artist in the first place, fathered children out of wedlock, and pursued his radical artistic visions with a fierce and destructive intensity.

Spurling tells a fascinating story which includes a genuine art historical scoop in uncovering the reason for Matisse's so-called Dark Period of 1902-1904. Art historians have long commented on how his artistic development stalled during this time, but Spurling convincingly reveals that his family had been severely affected by a financial fraud and he was obliged to make more saleable paintings. Ironically, he actually achieved financial success when he boldly went against convention and let rip his passion for colour. Matisse may have worn gold-rimmed spectacles and a suit, but it was the emotional and artistic turmoil underneath the placid surface that was transferred to his canvas. "I always worked like a drunken brute", he recalled, "trying to kick the door down." --Nick Wroe

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